I’m going to take from this that the contemporary war of church and science that I’ve experienced didn’t exist until the late 19th century. But I think the character of christian belief (which I can’t even come close to defining) that shows itself in christian atheism, predates that (and science) by a long shot. (And this probably somewhat contradicts what I wrote above) At some point I started reading philosophy like it was diaries - written for the author (partly based on the observation that privileged men tend to write about nothing but themselves). Anselm was trying to convince someone that god really, really existed in the 9th century. I’m pretty sure that someone was himself. And I’m pretty sure by doing so he was subjugating god to reason when that seems objectively nonsensical to me (if you actually believe in the Christian God). I think I’m just talking around the edges of this because I’m interested in the “shape” of my own atheism and you find out the shape of something by finding it’s boundary.
Definitely. I thought the point that new atheists tried to make about morality was that people who are religious and people who are non-religious do good and bad things. If someone is going to do something they know they shouldn’t, it doesn’t matter the system that tells them they shouldn’t. If someone is going to rationalize why it’s really okay to do something when they know it isn’t, it really doesn’t matter how they rationalize it.
Then I felt like they negated that point by making religion out to be a specific boogeyman. But just like Anselm, I realize when I read Hitchens and Dawkins, I should have read it knowing that they were writing for themselves, not for me. They come from a generation where giving up on God was probably very painful, or where being the sort of person who simply didn’t have the inclination to believe in God was very alienating. I bet most millenial atheists would say, “Well, of course there’s no God. What’s there to talk about?”